March 23, 2017: The Kuwait Times newspaper published an article this week titled “Getting to Know the Christians in Kuwait.”
In it Adventists were profiled as a thriving, albeit not officially licensed denomination.
Although Kuwait’s official religion is Islam, the constitution allows for freedom of religious belief and practice.
The Adventist Church in Kuwait is very international. The Kuwait Times article quoted a leader of the church, “Pastor Jonnie” as saying that the government has not hindered members from worshipping.
The Adventist Church in Kuwait has been in existence for 45 years and currently has about 250 active members, mostly temporary workers who eventually return to their home countries.
Despite its relative success in the country the Adventist Church is not one of the only seven denominations that are officially licensed and recognized by the government.
These licensed churches are the National Evangelical (Protestant), Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic, Coptic Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox and Anglican churches.
In addition to the Adventist church, other denominations that have not been awarded an official license from the government include the Indian Orthodox, Mar Thoma and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Unlicensed groups can worship freely in rented villas, private homes or in the buildings of licensed churches.
The overwhelming majority of Kuwait’s over 822,000 Christians are not citizens. However, over 200 Kuwaitis coming from eight families call themselves Christian.
The US Department of State describes the state of religious freedom in Kuwait as “improving.”